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New streetcar network may debut in 2011

<p>The first phase of Toronto’s proposed $6-billion Transit City streetcar network could be on the tracks as early as 2011, although the following year is more likely.</p>

TTC staff already instructed to begin designing lines


The first phase of Toronto’s proposed $6-billion Transit City streetcar network could be on the tracks as early as 2011, although the following year is more likely.





A newly streamlined environmental assessment process and compressed public consultations would allow the Toronto Transit Commission to put shovels in the dirt on two of the seven proposed light rail lines in 2009, according to an implementation plan approved by commissioners yesterday.





Construction would take place first on either the Etobicoke-Finch West line or the Sheppard East line, where preliminary studies have been finished.





Work on the 30.5-kilometre Eglinton-Crosstown line, to run from Kennedy Station to Pearson airport, would begin at about the same time.





“Eglinton is going to take a number of years. We’re going to build an underground section about the same length as the Sheppard subway, which is five kilometres,” said TTC chair Adam Giambrone.





It will be designed so it could accommodate a subway line later.





The commission has told TTC staff to start designing the lines even though the two-thirds funding committed by the province last month won’t be assured unless the Ontario Liberals are re-elected in October.















Only so much



  • Planners have to be cognizant of th fact that in 2011, work will be proceeding on extending the Spadina subway line, the Scarborough rapid transit line, possibly a second subway extension on the Yonge line plus two or three light rail lines, Adam Giambrone said. “There’s only so much we can build and so many roads we can rip up all at once in Toronto.”



 
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